Solazyme Inc. is a publically-traded biotechnology that focuses largely on microalgae-based sustainable products. Here’s our Solazyme review.
What is Solazyme?
Solazyme is an American biotech company founded in 2003.
The company uses a proprietary technology to transform a range of low-cost plant-based sugars into high-value oils. Using this technology, the company offers a range of renewable products designed to replace or enhance the oils we get from traditional sources – like plants, petroleum, and animal fats.
The company is led by CEO and founder Jonathan Wolfson. In 2003, Wolfson founded the company in his garage. By 2005, Wolfson and his business partner had created an algal molecular biology platform they could use to turn microalgae into oil.
The company initially focused on using this technology to create skin care and personal care products.
Over the years, the company has continued to expand. By the late 2000s, the company was focused on creating algae-based sustainable fuels. Solazyme made headlines in 2008, for example, when it presented a Mercedes Benz C320 fueled with the company’s Soladiesel brand of algal fuel.
The company has also patterned with some big names over the years, including Chevron, the Department of Defense, and the United States Department of Energy. The United States Department of Defense eventually ordered some of the microalgae-based marine diesel fuel in an alternative fuel test.
In November 2011, that partnership with the United States Department of Defense led to a groundbreaking test. The US Navy launched its largest alternative fuel test in history, pumping 20,000 gallons of Solazyme’s algae-based fuel into a naval destroyer that was embarking on a 20 hour trip down the California coast.
Today, Solazyme separates its technological endeavors into four broad categories, including Personal Care, Industrial, Food, and Fuel.
The company’s Personal Care products include Alguronic Acid, described as a “protective regenerative compound from microalgae that minimizes the appearance of wrinkles”.
Another main product in the lineup is the Algasome complex, which is a trademarked formula that provides a concentrated source of vitamins and antioxidants.
Finally, we have AlgaPur and Algenist, both of which are targeted towards the skin care market to deliver high levels of hydration while providing radiant looking skin.
Solazyme’s Industrial products includes using algae-based solutions as a replacement for oils and oil derivatives.
Those “solutions” include oleochemicals derived from algae. Oleochemicals are used in a variety of chemical and personal care industries to make products like detergents, soaps, cosmetics, and more.
The company also makes algae-based functional fluid replacements that can be used as a replacement for lubricants, hydraulic fluids, and dielectric fluids, among others.
Finally, there’s Encapso, which is a family of products targeted towards reducing friction and delivering superior lubrication for industrial applications.
Solazyme’s enormous fuel division promises to create renewable fuels for the future. The fuels have the goal of answering questions like fuel scarcity while also securing energy production for countries around the world. Solazyme fuels also aim to fit neatly into existing infrastructure, “requiring no engine modifications for use”.
Some of the key fuel advances created by Solazyme over the years include:
— SoladieselBD: 100% algae-derived biodiesel that can be used in any factory-standard diesel engines without modifications.
— SoladieselRD: 100% algae-derived renewable diesel fuel that can be used as an alternative to standard diesel fuels and is “chemically indistinguishable from petroleum-based diesel”. When used in vehicles, it releases fewer particulates into the air and meets the standards for ultra-low sulfur diesel as outlined by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
— Solajet: Algae-based renewable aviation fuel that offers a faster, farther, and greater payload while also reducing wing heat stress, lowering smoke emissions, and reducing overall maintenance costs.
— Military Grade: Solazyme has partnered with the US Navy and the Department of Defense since 2008. The Military Grade algae-based fuel is a result of that partnership. The marine diesel fuel has been tested in certain destroyers in the US Navy.
Solazyme promises to redefine the future of food by providing vegan-friendly food products based on algae. Some of the key products in the lineup include:
— AlgaVia Whole Algae Ingredients
— AlgaWise Algae Oils
The company offers algae-based replacements for protein powders as well as lipid powders that can be used to replace or reduce the amount of oils, egg yolks, and fats used in your recipes.
Solazyme is led by CEO and founder Jonathan Wolfson.
The company is based in California at the following office location:Solazyme Inc.
225 Gateway Blvd
South San Francisco, California 94080
You can contact the company by phone at 650-780-4777 or by email using the contact info found here: Solazyme.com/contact/
In addition to the San Francisco headquarters, Solazyme operates a manufacturing facility in Peoria, Illinois and headquarters its South America operations in Sao Paulo.
Solazyme describes its mission like this:
“At Solazyme we transform microalgae, the smallest of organisms, into solutions for the worlds biggest problems.”